I enjoy the weeks after Easter. In the Gospel readings we hear eyewitness accounts of his resurrection from the dead. We also remember he is our Shepherd and how he promised to send the Holy Spirit to us. Jesus prays for us who believe in him through the words of the apostles. The music is joyful, and we savor the victory Jesus won for us for seven weeks. 

  When we see suffering around us, like in Ukraine and other conflicts, we need some good news. Jesus says, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart. I have overcome the world." He overcame it all by dying and rising to life again. Our sin, our guilt, the devil's accusations, and hell itself. Overcome.

  On the fiftieth day after Easter, it's time for the Holy Spirit to come. He comes through the spoken word, in baptism, and in the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper, the very body and blood of Jesus. Jesus ascended to heaven, but is with us in these places. Take heart in that. God with us. Immanuel.